KUCHING: The impact of the movement control order (MCO) on cancer patients and those suffering from other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) must be taken into account by the government, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
These patients had to delay their treatments or appointments due to the MCO which they were struggling to come to terms with, he pointed out.
“Many patients with diabetes and kidney ailments may have already missed their appointments and are not getting their regular drug supplies.
“This, of course, may result in an increase of the rate of hospital admissions due to complications of such diseases that will not only put additional pressure on the hospitals, but in worst case scenarios, increase mortality for patients,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Yii added many patients also had to reschedule elective surgeries that were postponed during the MCO.
“An elective surgery does not necessarily mean that it is optional, but that it can be scheduled in advance because it doesn’t involve an urgent life-threatening condition.
“But there are also possibilities that the medical condition of patients may worsen if such procedures are delayed,” he warned.
A Ministry of Health (MOH) guideline dated March 24 said that all elective surgeries should be postponed in order to divert available resources to those suspected or confirmed to have Covid-19.
“While I understand behind the rationale of such directive, it will increase the backlog of surgeries caused by the MCO. The doctors will then need to prioritise who needs to have procedures ahead of others,” said Dr Yii.
“The hospitals will need to work extra hard to clear the deferred surgeries and make way for new ones as soon as they can.
“So that is why I believe the government should look holistically on the effects of the MCO on healthcare itself as we do not want the morbidity or mortality rate of other diseases to go up at the background of the Covid-19 outbreak.”
He hoped the government would come up with more detailed supportive policies to ensure that the different spheres of people most affected by the MCO get the support and help they needed.